College Weight Gain: Avoiding The ‘Freshman 15’

We’ve all heard of it, the dreaded ‘freshman 15’ that supposedly every freshman is bound to put on during their first year at college.

Being in a new environment, an increased stress level, and the freedom to eat whatever and however you want can all trigger this college weight gain.

One of the most important things you can do is maintain a healthy diet.

Follow these three diet tips to avoid college weight gain and keep off those dreaded 15 pounds during your first year away.

3 Ways To Avoid College Weight Gain

  • Avoid unhealthy snacking and late night eating

With a busy schedule and hefty workload, it isn’t uncommon for students to grab a quick snack on the go or eat dinner late at night. These two habits can easily cause you to pack on the pounds and lead to undesirable college weight gain, along with your increased stress levels.

Instead of grabbing junk food on the go, grab an apple or banana. The most important thing is avoiding foods filled with added sugars, sodium, and carbohydrates.

This goes for late night eating as well. If you feel the urge to eat late, try to grab something healthy. A good way to prevent college weight gain and late night eating is setting a time for yourself that you plan on not eating after (8 p.m. is an ideal time.)

You can also avoid your late night cravings by eating three full meals during the day. These tricks will help you avoid unnecessary college weight gain.

  • Decrease your alcohol intake

Admit it, at least once in your life you’ve pictured college to be filled with parties, kegs, and students who constantly binge drink. We’ve heard the stereotype and while some future college students are curious of such a lifestyle, they must also realize that mass alcohol consumption could lead to college weight gain.

Even though it’s just a liquid, don’t let alcohol fool you. Liquors, beers, and wines are all packed with plenty of sugars, carbs and calories – all of which cause college weight gain. If you don’t believe it, check out for more information on how many calories a standard drink contains.

Bet you didn’t know an average beer contained about 149 calories! Those calories can add up quickly and lead to unwanted college weight gain!

Consuming a large amount of alcohol can also cause you to crave greasy foods. The alcohol in your body eventually needs to be soaked up, hence why you have these cravings. It may sound like a great idea to consume ten tacos in 20 minutes on Friday night, but chances are you’ll regret it in the morning.

  • Eat your fruits and veggies

It’s so easy to avoid these two food groups when you don’t have your parents lecturing you on their importance. However, fruits and vegetables are enriched with an array of vitamins, are vital to your health, and can help you keep avoid college weight gain.

Some great ways to get your fruits and vegetables in each day are having a piece of fruit with your breakfast, a salad with lunch, and a side vegetable with dinner.

If you don’t particularly like the taste of fruits and vegetables, you can always find other ways to squeeze them into your meals, even if it’s a few strawberries on top of that ice cream sundae. It’s okay to get creative…do whatever it takes to prevent college weight gain.

For more tips on eating healthy in college and avoiding college weight gain, visit your campus health center. Remember, when you eat better, you’ll feel better!

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Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Marie Trombly

Jane Trombly is a junior at Central Michigan University pursuing a degree in apparel merchandising with a minor in journalism. She has also participated in a study abroad program at the University of East London. At school, Jane is an active member of the Greek community, and CMU’s fashion association. In her spare time, Jane enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and writing for her very own fashion blog.
Jane Marie Trombly

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